Patagonia’s founder transfers ownership into two entities to help fight the climate crisis



CNN Business

Patagonia founder is transferring ownership of the company after nearly 50 years into two entities that will help tackle the climate crisis.

Patagonia is a private company based in Ventura, California, which sells outdoor clothing and equipment. Yvon Chouinard founded the company in 1973.

Patagonia said in a press release Wednesday that effective immediately, Chouinard and his family will transfer their entire stake in two newly created entities. These entities will ensure that the company’s values ​​will continue to be upheld and that Patagonia’s profits will be used to fight climate change.

“If we have any hope of a prosperous planet 50 years from now, it requires that we all do everything we can with the resources we have,” Chouinard said in a statement Wednesday. “Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into wealth, we use the wealth created by Patagonia to protect the source.”

The largest share of the company – 98% of Patagonia stock – will now be under the Holdfast Collective. This non-profit organization will ensure that the company’s annual profits, approximately $100 million per year, are used to “protect nature and biodiversity, support thriving communities and address the environmental crisis”.

The remainder of the company’s stock will fund the new Patagonia Purpose Trust.

This trust will create a permanent legal structure so that the company can never deviate from Chouinard’s vision: That a for-profit company can work for the planet.

“Two years ago, the Chouinard family challenged a few of us to develop a new structure with two central goals,” Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert said in the press release. “They wanted us to both protect the corporate purpose and immediately and perpetually release more funds to tackle the environmental crisis. We believe this new structure delivers on both and we hope it inspires a new way of doing business that puts people and planet first.

Patagonia has long been known as an environmental company and has been outspoken about hot-button issues outside of its stores over the years. Patagonia’s corporate activism is a big part of its brand identity.

In 2017, the company sued then-President Donald Trump over his administration’s decision to dramatically cut two national monuments in Utah.

“The president stole your land,” the Patagonia website said at the time. “This is the largest removal of conservation lands in American history.”

The company has become one of the most vocal opponents of Trump’s environmental policies.

Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert called on companies to join the brand in lobbying Facebook to fix its platforms last year and the company donated $1 million to human rights groups. vote in Georgia.

– CNN’s Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report

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